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LituanicaSAT-2

In 2017 NanoAvionics together with Vilnius University collaborated on launching LituanicaSAT-2 satellite. LituanicaSAT-2 was a 3U CubeSat intended for the scientific mission of the “QB50” – a constellation of 50 CubeSats. The “QB50” project was led by the Von Karman Institute (VKI) for fluid dynamics (Belgium), under the European Commission’s research and innovation program FP7 (2007-2013). The project involved 50 institutions all over the world each building their CubeSats that were launched into space during the “QB50” mission.

Main highlights:

  • The scientific aim of “QB50” was to carry out atmospheric research within the lower thermosphere (altitude between 200 and 500 km), which is the least explored layer of the atmosphere.
  • Despite direct “QB50” aim, the LituanicaSAT-2 mission was particularly important for NanoAvionics, because the innovative propulsion system prototype for small satellites developed by NanoAvionics was successfully tested during this mission.
  • This mission was designed to provide long-term multipoint, in-situ measurements. The scientific contribution of the LituanicaSAT-2 was to accomplish the molecular Oxygen measurements Flux-Φ-Probe Experiment (FIPEX).
  • Following a rigorous testing programme, the LituanicaSAT-2 with satellite number LT01 was launched by the PSLV launch vehicle on 23rd of June, 2017. The satellite was deployed in the sun-synchronous orbit, at an altitude of 507 km.

 

LituanicaSAT-2 prototype presentation

Project details
Definition of the satellite mission objectives December
2011 – May 2012
Project acceptance
18 July 2012 (Letter of Acceptance)
Critical Design Review
04 May 2014
Cooperation agreement between Vilnius University and NanoAvionics
28 October 2014
Satellite engineering module subsystem-level testing
June-September 2015
Satellite engineering model assembly (Without Propulsion System)
August 2015
Satellite engineering model functional test campaign
November 2015 – February 2016
Propulsion system functional test campaign
December 2015 – April 2016
Satellite flight model environmental and functional test campaign
March 2016 – December 2016
Flight Readiness Review
March 2017
Satellite delivery to project organizers
April 2017
Launch of the PSLV C-38 rocket from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, with LituanicaSAT-2 onboard
23 June 2017
The first LituanicaSAT-2 signal was received from WA (US)
23 June 2017
The chemical propulsion system was successfully tested in-orbit
5 July 2017